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USDA Seeks to Update Salmonella Tests for Beef

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has requested comments on proposed changes to the way it tests for salmonella in ground beef.


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FSIS wants to test for salmonella in raw ground beef, beef manufacturing trimmings, bench trim and other raw ground beef components as part of its current testing for shiga-toxin producing E. coli, according to a request for comment posted in the Federal Register last week.

Currently, FSIS analyzes for salmonella using randomly selected product samples from the same establishment over a period of time depending on risk.

The new system would require follow-up testing if initial analysis confirmed the presence of salmonella.

As part of the changes, FSIS will increase the product sample size from 25 grams to 325 grams.

Read more: Salmonella Outbreak Leads to Ground Beef Recall

FSIS claims the new testing method will reduce costs while allowing the agency to analyze more samples.

It also states the procedures will make it easier to estimate the prevalence of salmonella in raw ground beef and beef manufacturing trimmings.

FSIS will use the first three months of findings to determine a new salmonella performance standard for raw ground beef.

Comments must be submitted by Sept. 27.

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